Calendar

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

walking

For some of us it is the hardest thing to do.  Exercise.  It’s still one of the best treatments available for knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.  Why?  Well for a few different reasons.

1.  Exercise will lubricate your joints.  My grandmother used to tell me, “that if you don’t use it, you lose it”.  Gram was one smart cookie.  The cartilage in your knee is a lot like a sponge.  Every time you step, you compress your cartilage.  When you take weight off your knee the sponge expands.  This motion pulls fluid into your knee, and pushes fluid out.  This movement of fluid brings nutrients to your cartilage, and caries away the stuff it doesn’t need.  Walking facilitates this process of lubrication.  If you remain dormant the sponge will not get the fluid it needs.  Think of the month old sponge at your sink that is dry and flaky.  It’s not too far of a stretch to think of your knee cartilage in the same way.

2.  If you exercise you are more likely to lose weight.  If you weigh less, your knees won’t have to absorb as much impact each and every time you take a step.  Losing weight will make your knees feel better because they won’t have to work as hard.

3.  Exercise will stretch the muscles around your knee.  Having flexible musculature surrounding your knee will take pressure off the cartilage.  Stay loose and your knee pain won’t be as bad.

So something as simple as walking will lubricate your knee, stretch your muscles. and help you lose weight.



Strength Conditioning

Strength Conditioning

Strength conditioning exercises (sometimes called resistance exercises) make your muscles strong.  Strengthening the muscles around your arthritic knee will make your knee more stable, like adding supports to a crumbling wall.

Gyms and health clubs have machines and free weights that can help strengthen your legs.  However you don’t need a membership to enjoy the benefits of strength conditioning exercises.  Leg lifts in a chair with an elastic strap can be just a effective as a thousand dollar leg extension machine.  Even if you are in your nineties training with weights or resistance will increase your quality of life.

Ask your doctor or physical therapist what strength conditioning exercises are right for helping you with your osteoarthritis.



Aerobic Exercise for Knee OA

Aerobic Exercise for Knee OA

Exercise and your knees will feel better.  But what kind of exercise will make your knees feel best?  It probably will have to be a combination of exercises that help you lose weight, strengthen your anatomy, and make you more flexible.

Exercise generally falls into three categories:  aerobic, strength conditioning, and flexibility.  If you want your arthritic knees to feel better without taking drugs and without surgery then look to create an exercise program that incorporates all three types of exercise.

Aerobic Exercise:  This is any type of activity that uses oxygen to fuel your muscles.  Any activity that works the big muscles in your arms and legs for an extended period of time can be considered aerobic.  Aerobic Exercise makes your heart pump hard and increases your breathing rate.  This in turn will burn calories and help control your weight.

Examples of Aerobic Exercise:  running, stair climbing, fast walking, rowing, jumping rope, cros-country skiing, biking, and swimming.

Lose weight and decrease the amount of pressure on your knees.



Swimming

Swimming

Exercise is an important treatment option for knee osteoarthritis.  And swimming is an excellent low-impact exercise that you can do even when your knees are hurting.  However swimming laps can get boring.  If you are tired of swimming on your own then it may be time to join and adult aquatic fitness program.  Most YMCA’s have masters programs that can help improve stroke mechanics, training techniques, and setting and maintaining fitness goals.

If you are not interested in joining a group then look to build a workout so that you are not just swimming lap after lap.  Mix up your routine with a kick-board, hypoxic breathing exercises, and variations of strokes.



The more you weigh, the more your knees hurt

The more you weigh, the more your knees hurt

Almost 50% of people living in the United States will develop osteoarthritis of the knee by the age of 85.  That number jumps to 66% in the obese.  A study performed at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that a person’s risk to develop knee OA increases as their body mass index increases.

The study suggested that those at the greatest risk were people who had normal body weight at the age of eighteen but gained weight and became obese became by the time they were 45 or older.

So how do you exercise and lose weight if your knee hurts?  Knee braces work.  Knee braces are covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most major HMOs and PPOs.



Knee Exercise

Knee Exercise

Pre-operative exercise programs help patients with osteoarthritis of the knee after they have their knees replaced.  People who undergo “pre-habilitation” experience better leg function and faster recovery times.

So even if you decide to have total knee replacement surgery you still have to exercise!

71 patients were divided into two groups at the University of Louisville.  One group underwent an exercise program before surgery.  The exercises was developed to improve knee and leg strength, through light walking and step exercises.  Standard preoperative care was provided to the other group of patients.

The group that exercised before they had their knees replaced experienced less pain during functional tests and increased extension strength.  The findings published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning suggests exercise before surgery results in quicker recovery.



Mental Aspects of Tai Chi Relieves Knee Pain

Mental Aspects of Tai Chi Relieves Knee Pain

Researchers at Tufts University released findings that knee pain can be reduced in the elderly by participating in Tai-Chi.  Two groups of elderly patients with osteoarthritis were studied.  20 patients participated in hour-long Tai-Chi classes twice a day for 12 weeks.  Another 20 patients participated in stretching exercises and other therapy for the same time period.

The Tai-Chi group experienced a significant decrease in knee pain as compared to the other group of patients.

Tai-Chi is a a low-impact exercise that develops the body’s “chi” or energy.

Tai-chi utilizes deep breaths, meditation, gentle postures, and gentle movements.  It improves balance, flexibility, and coordination.  This type of exercise is relaxing and easy on the knees.  It is also believed to enhance memory and concentration.  It is also reported to help relieve pain, anxiety, and stress.

Researchers believe that developing the “chi” helps reduce the anxiety and negative thoughts surrounding the pain associated with knee osteoarthritis.



walking

walking

A New study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism found strong evidence that an increase in activity relates to better knee function while walking.  People with arthritis should participate in moderate intensity, low-impact exercise for at least 10 minutes, totaling at least 2.5 hours per week.

Data from patients was gathered in Columbus, Baltimore, Providence, and Pittsburgh.

Dorothy Dunlop, the study’s lead author, said, “The more active people are the faster they can walk.”  Dr. Dunlop is an associate professor of medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

So even if your knee is stiff, just getting up and walking a little will help!  You don’t need medicine, or prescriptions, or fancy gym equipment….just put on your shoes and walk!  A neoprene support brace can help you get up and moving.



Rest is Important

Rest is Important

Though exercise and weight loss are important for treating your knee osteoarthritis, don’t forget to rest.  Rest is important for the muscles, and joints you have been working.  The goal is to prevent pain, not cause it.  So know when to say when.  Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to take a day or two off if something doesn’t feel right.  Strength must be built up gradually, not all at once.

And don’t forget arthritis knee braces can help ease your pain and keep you exercising!



Isometric Exercise

Isometric Exercise

Isometric exercise is defined as, “a form of exercise involving the static contraction of a muscle without any visible movement in the angle of the joint”.  This type of low impact exercise is thousands of years old.  It is practiced by pushing or pulling an immovable object like the floor or a wall.

Isometric exercise is a great low impact form of exercise because it doesn’t involve strenuous activities or extreme pressure on the joints.  It works by contracting and relaxing muscles without changing the angle of the joint.  Simply breathing in, holding the breath, and squeezing your abdominal muscles is an isometric exercise.  Breath control is the most important aspect of isometric exercise.

Isometric exercises can be done without stressing your knees.  This is very important to someone who suffers with osteoarthritis.  Fitness classes, DVD’s and even shows on your local cable channels can teach you some of these exercises.